Thank you, Madame President.
On the same day that Turkey was undergoing its UPR on 28 January 2020, civil society leader Osman Kavala was standing trial in an Istanbul courtroom on spurious charges. He remains arbitrarily detained despite a European Court of Human Rights decision ruling for his release.
While we therefore welcome Turkey’s acceptance of a number of recommendations on safeguarding freedom of expression, Turkey’s response to its UPR, as well as its continued efforts to suppress free expression since its review, reinforces our serious doubts over its commitment to fulfilling its human rights obligations.
The Turkish authorities accepted recommendations to create a safe and enabling environment for journalists and human rights defenders. However, this is inconsistent with its rejection of recommendations to end arbitrary arrests of civil society actors. As part of intense efforts to repress dissent, dozens of journalists and media workers are currently in detention for conducting their vital work. We remind Turkey that these violations are categorically incompatible with the right to freedom of expression, and urge the authorities to immediately release all civil society actors in detention and end judicial harassment.
Turkey did not accept a significant number of recommendations to amend the Anti-Terror Law and other counter-terrorism legislation, claiming that the law is already in line with international standards. This is simply not the case: existing counter-terrorism legislation contains unduly broad and vague concepts, and has been abused to target civil society for the exercise of their right to freedom of expression. Striking examples of this include the prosecution and detention of novelist Ahmet Altan, politician Selahattin Demirtaş and journalist Nedim Türfent. Human rights defenders, journalists, politicians, artists, academics, lawyers and even doctors routinely face legal harassment using this law.
Journalists, human rights defenders and politicians jailed under terrorism charges simply for doing their jobs, were excluded from a prison release programme, initiated after the outbreak of Covid-19. We call on Turkey to immediately amend counter-terrorism laws in line with international standards, ensuring “terrorist acts” are defined in a precise and narrow manner.
Turkey failed to accept any recommendations to decriminalise defamation. Article 299 of the Penal Code, has been widely abused to silence criticism against the President. Between 2010 and 2017, 12,893 cases were filed for defamation of President Erdoğan. We urge Turkey to repeal these provisions, which are inherently incompatible with the right to freedom of expression.
Thank you, Madame President.
The partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today raise the alarm about two draft media laws brought forward by the Serbian government for their lack of compliance with international freedom of expression standards.READ MORE
Following a mission to Athens, eight international organisations call on the Government and Prime Minister to show political courage and urgently improve the climate for independent journalism and salvaging press freedom in Greece.READ MORE
ECPMF and 79 civil society and journalists' associations are calling on European Parliament to ensure that journalists are completely protected from spyware in the European Media Freedom Act.READ MORE
Between 2 and 5 October 2023, five international media freedom organisations will conduct an annual joint press freedom mission to Ankara, Diyarbakır and Istanbul.READ MORE
We are highly concerned about the alleged surveillance of journalist Makarios Drousiotis, and the lack of prompt, adequate or thorough investigation of the matter.READ MORE
|_mcid||1 year||This is a Mailchimp functionality cookie used to evaluate the UI/UX interaction with its platform|
|_ga||2 years||The _ga cookie, installed by Google Analytics, calculates visitor, session and campaign data and also keeps track of site usage for the site's analytics report. The cookie stores information anonymously and assigns a randomly generated number to recognize unique visitors.|
|_gat_gtag_UA_84831681_1||1 minute||Set by Google to distinguish users.|
|_gid||1 day||Installed by Google Analytics, _gid cookie stores information on how visitors use a website, while also creating an analytics report of the website's performance. Some of the data that are collected include the number of visitors, their source, and the pages they visit anonymously.|
|ahoy_visit||4 hours||This cookie is set by Powr for analytics measurement.|
|ahoy_visitor||2 years||This cookie is set by Powr for analytics measurement.|
|CONSENT||2 years||YouTube sets this cookie via embedded youtube-videos and registers anonymous statistical data.|
|s_vi||2 years||An Adobe Analytics cookie that uses a unique visitor ID time/date stamp to identify a unique vistor to the website.|
|VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE||5 months 27 days||A cookie set by YouTube to measure bandwidth that determines whether the user gets the new or old player interface.|
|YSC||session||YSC cookie is set by Youtube and is used to track the views of embedded videos on Youtube pages.|
|yt-remote-connected-devices||never||YouTube sets this cookie to store the video preferences of the user using embedded YouTube video.|
|yt-remote-device-id||never||YouTube sets this cookie to store the video preferences of the user using embedded YouTube video.|